Besides all of the legal trouble that can come with a DUI, your driving record is blemished. A DUI stays on your driving record for five to 10 years in most states. Depending on where you live, you could even have a DUI on your driving record for life.

That’s a big deal, as a driving record with a DUI can cause several problems down the road. This includes rising insurance rates, SR-22 filing requirements and employment difficulties.

You’ll learn about all of the above in this article, which covers:

How long does a DUI stay on your driving record?

In most states, a DUI will stay on your driving record for five to 10 years. Every state handles DUIs differently, so it's hard to give one-size-fits-all advice about them. While reading about how your state deals with DUI charges or convictions, though, consider these facts:

  • Most states use a point system to track your driving. When you commit a traffic violation, the state DMV places points on your license. If you rack up enough points, your license may be suspended.
  • Insurance companies check your driver’s license points when pricing your insurance policy. More license points lead to higher insurance rates.
  • Of the states that use a point system, some give points for DUIs, while others opt for harsher penalties. In lieu of points, those states may automatically suspend your license or fine you after a DUI.
  • The number of license points given for a DUI varies by state. The length of time those points stay on a license also depends on where you live. In some states, it's a set amount of years. In other states, you can subtract points every year without driving violations.

The table below outlines how long a DUI stays on a driving record in each state. It also covers the amount of license points given for DUIs and how long those points stay on a license. In states with more severe penalties than license points, drivers usually face automatic license suspension.

How long DUIs and DWIs stay on your driving record
State On record for Points Point length
Alabama 5 years 6 points 2 years
Alaska For life 10 points 2 points off every 2 years
Arizona 5 years 8 points 3 years
Arkansas 5 years 14 points 3 years
California 10 years 2 points 13 years
Colorado 10 years 8 points 2 years
Connecticut 10 years 3 points 2 years
Delaware 5 years Extra penalties N/A
Florida 75 years Extra penalties 3 years
Georgia 10 years Extra penalties 2 years
Hawaii 5 years No point system N/A
Idaho For life Extra penalties 3 years
Illinois For life No point system N/A
Indiana For life 8 points 2 years
Iowa 12 years No point system N/A
Kansas For life No point system N/A
Kentucky 5 years Extra penalties 2 years
Louisiana 10 years No point system N/A
Maine For life Extra penalties 1 year
Maryland 5 years 12 points 3 years
Massachusetts 10 years 5 points 6 years
Michigan 7 years 6 points 2 years
Minnesota 10 years No point system N/A
Mississippi 5 years No point system N/A
Missouri 10 years 8 points 1.5 years
Montana 5 years 10 points 3 years
Nebraska 12 years 6 points 2 years
Nevada 7 years Extra penalties 1 year
New Hampshire 10 years 6 points 3 years
New Jersey 10 years Extra penalties N/A
New Mexico 55 years Extra penalties 1 year
New York 15 years Extra penalties 1.5 years
North Carolina 7 years Extra penalties 3 years
North Dakota 7 years Extra penalties 3 years
Ohio For life 6 points 3 years
Oklahoma 10 years Extra penalties 3 years
Oregon For life No point system N/A
Pennsylvania 10 years Extra penalties 3 points off per year
Rhode Island 5 years No point system N/A
South Carolina 10 years Extra penalties 2 years
South Dakota 10 years 10 points Varies
Tennessee For life Extra penalties 2 years
Texas For life 2 points 3 years
Utah 10 years Extra penalties 2 years
Vermont For life Extra penalties 2 years
Virginia 11 years Extra penalties 2 years
Washington 15 years No point system N/A
West Virginia 10 years Extra penalties 2 years
Wisconsin 10 years 6 points 5 years
Wyoming 10 years No point system N/A

Why a DUI on your driving record matters

A DUI on your driving record can lead to a few problems, including: 

  • Higher insurance rates
  • Employment difficulties if your job involves driving 
  • License suspension

Your driving record plays a major role in determining the price of your insurance policy. It's one of the first things insurance companies look at when they evaluate your risk level. Drivers with high risk levels often pay a lot more for car insurance than those who are a low risk.

That means if your driving record is filled with tickets or accidents — or, in this case, one or more DUIs — your insurance rates may rise. Insurers typically consider the last three to five years of your driving record when calculating a premium. If you rack up multiple infractions during that time, your insurer might even cancel your coverage.

Depending on your career, a splotchy driving record can impact your employment opportunities. Requirements for commercial driver's licenses include having a clean driving record. 

Finally, if your driving record contains too many citations or infractions, you might see your license suspended. The threshold for license suspension varies by state. In some states, a DUI warrants an automatic suspension.

If your license is suspended, you'll probably need to file an SR-22 or an FR-44. To reinstate your license, you have to prove you’re carrying the minimum amount of liability car insurance the state requires. That's what an SR-22 form is — a certificate of financial responsibility. It shows you’ve bought at least the required amount of auto coverage.

SR-22 requirements generally last three years. Many insurers will charge you a flat fee to file SR-22 forms during this period. DMVs often charge a filing fee, too. That's in addition to the license reinstatement fees you’ll have to pay. In other words, needing an SR-22 can be costly.

If you get a DUI in one state, does it show up on your driving record in another state?

Yes, most states transfer violations from past states. It depends on your new state's laws, but it's a good rule of thumb to assume your DUI will show up on any driving record. That's the case if you get a DUI while out of your home state, or if you move to a new state with an old DUI on your record.

If you get a DUI while visiting another state, it will likely be shared with your home state's DMV through something called the Driver License Compact. Every state participates except for Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee and Wisconsin. But even those states often have informal agreements with other states to exchange driver information.

States with the most DUIs

Image of drink driver crashing

Driving while impaired can cost you more than just your license — it can cost you or someone else their life. The number of fatal crashes has increased by nearly 20% from 2019 to 2020, and another 11% from 2020 to 2021. We found that 36% of those fatal crashes involved alcohol.

Fatal crashes involving alcohol are most prevalent in Texas, Montana and Rhode Island, where nearly 50% of all traffic fatalities involve alcohol. Mississippi, Georgia and Utah have the lowest numbers of fatal crashes involving alcohol.

Fatal crashes involving alcohol by state in 2021
State All traffic fatalities % of fatal crashes involving alcohol % of drivers legally or severely impaired
Texas 4,498 48% 42%
Montana 239 47% 44%
Rhode Island 63 46% 39%
Connecticut 298 45% 38%
New Hampshire 118 45% 38%
Ohio 1,354 45% 39%
Washington 670 45% 39%
Oregon 599 44% 36%
South Dakota 148 42% 35%
Arizona 1,180 41% 36%
Illinois 1,334 41% 35%
Iowa 356 41% 33%
Massachusetts 417 41% 36%
Hawaii 94 40% 29%
Maryland 561 40% 35%
Alaska 67 39% 33%
Maine 153 39% 29%
New York 1,157 39% 34%
California 4,285 38% 32%
North Dakota 101 38% 33%
South Carolina 1,198 38% 33%
Wyoming 110 38% 34%
Colorado 691 37% 31%
Nevada 385 37% 30%
New Mexico 481 37% 32%
Louisiana 972 36% 31%
Nebraska 221 36% 29%
Vermont 74 36% 31%
Wisconsin 620 36% 32%
U.S. total 42,939 36% 31%
Missouri 1,016 35% 29%
Arkansas 693 34% 27%
Michigan 1,136 34% 29%
Virginia 973 34% 29%
Alabama 983 33% 29%
Idaho 271 33% 31%
North Carolina 1,663 32% 28%
Pennsylvania 1,230 32% 27%
Tennessee 1,327 32% 27%
Florida 3,738 31% 27%
Minnesota 488 31% 27%
New Jersey 699 31% 25%
Oklahoma 762 31% 25%
Indiana 932 30% 25%
Kansas 424 30% 26%
Delaware 136 29% 25%
West Virginia 280 29% 23%
Kentucky 806 27% 24%
Utah 328 27% 24%
Georgia 1,797 26% 22%
Mississippi 772 24% 20%
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Association

While fatal crashes are up, the number of DUIs issued by law enforcement has declined significantly over the last decade. From 2010 to 2019, the number of DUI citations issued nationwide dropped by 33%, mainly because of increased awareness campaigns, stricter DUI penalties and ridesharing programs.

During that same period, North Carolina, Ohio and Georgia experienced the biggest drops in DUIs. Citations in those three states declined by as much as 72%.

Nationwide, only five states have seen an increase in DUIs over the last decade. DUI citations have increased by more than 110% in Delaware. However, the other four states — North Dakota, South Dakota, New Hampshire and Utah — are issuing more DUI tickets and seeing significantly lower increases.

North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming have the highest rates of DUIs, each averaging around 80 DUI tickets for every 10,000 drivers. Illinois, Delaware and Alabama have the lowest rates of DUIs, at 16 or fewer citations per 10,000 drivers.

States with the highest rates of DUIs
State Total number of DUIs % chance from 2010 DUIs per 10k drivers
North Dakota 4,833 16% 87
South Dakota 5,568 1% 86
Wyoming 3,194 -45% 75
Idaho 8,085 -25% 65
Wisconsin 24,546 -17% 57
Vermont 2,698 0% 57
Nevada 11,422 -15% 56
Kentucky 16,654 -28% 55
Hawaii 5,086 -24% 54
Alaska 2,856 -43% 54
Maine 5,445 -12% 52
Montana 4,020 -12% 50
Washington 28,830 -15% 50
Colorado 21,096 -27% 50
Minnesota 20,347 -19% 48
Iowa 10,799 -15% 47
Oregon 13,552 -10% 45
New Hampshire 5,346 17% 45
California 122,594 -38% 45
Nebraska 6,084 -52% 43
Maryland 18,945 -11% 42
Tennessee 19,568 -19% 41
Missouri 17,097 -43% 40
Texas 69,593 -26% 39
Utah 8,197 14% 39
Virginia 21,166 -28% 36
Michigan 25,835 -29% 36
Arizona 19,559 -48% 36
Oklahoma 9,056 -48% 36
New Mexico 4,961 -56% 34
New Jersey 21,386 -18% 34
Rhode Island 2,480 -4% 33
U.S average 755,331 -32% 33
Kansas 6,875 -49% 32
West Virginia 3,509 -30% 31
Mississippi 6,384 -42% 31
Arkansas 6,502 -37% 30
Connecticut 7,595 -26% 29
Indiana 11,505 -35% 25
Pennsylvania 21,137 -59% 24
South Carolina 8,721 -55% 22
Florida 33,872 N/A 22
New York 25,364 -31% 21
Massachusetts 10,121 -16% 20
Louisiana 6,535 -20% 19
North Carolina 14,158 -72% 19
Ohio 13,038 -65% 16
Alabama 6,275 -52% 16
Georgia 11,462 -60% 16
Delaware 452 113% 6
Wyoming 3,194 -45% 75
Data was sourced from the FBI Uniform Crime Report 2010-2019, based on the latest DUI crime data available. The total number of DUIs and DUIs per 10K drivers are based on data from 2019.

Cities with the most drunk-driving incidents

Every day in the U.S., drunk driving claims nearly 37 lives. Even with drunk driving fatalities decreasing by a third over the last three decades, too many lives are still lost to drunk driving. Cost data from the NHTSA shows deaths and damages caused by drunk driving to be over $40 billion annually.

Taking a closer look, our team analyzed self-reported data from our users on driving infractions, including DUIs, to determine which cities have the most drunk drivers. These rankings are based on over one million data points on drunk driving infractions from 2023. Cities ranked under "most drunk-driving cities" have the highest rate of DUIs per driver, while the "least drunk-driving cities" have the fewest.

Most drunk-driving cities
Rank City
1 San Diego
2 Bakersfield, Calif.
3 Durham, N.C.
4 Greensboro, N.C.
5 Los Angeles
6 Virginia Beach, Va.
7 Sacramento, Calif.
8 Riverside, Calif.
9 Fresno, Calif.
10 Indianapolis
Least drunk-driving cities
Rank City
1 Little Rock, Ark.
2 Boston
3 Memphis, Tenn.
4 Oklahoma City
5 Tulsa, Okla.
6 New Orleans
7 Philadelphia
8 Hartford, Conn.
9 Detroit
10 Baton Rouge, La.

Six out of the top 10 most drunk-driving cities are in California. Although the Golden State has strict DUI laws, the roads are so densely populated that the risk of driving under the influence is much greater.

How to get a DUI off your driving record

The first thing you should do to get a DUI off your record is seek legal help. DUI laws are complex, and the chances of beating a DUI without an attorney's assistance are minimal. Our research shows that people with DUI lawyers are three times more likely to get a DUI charge reduced.

A lawyer can help you beat a criminal charge. Unfortunately, removing, sealing or expunging a DUI from your criminal record doesn't mean it's no longer on your driving record.

This means there's usually nothing you can do to get a DUI off your driving record besides wait. A DUI stays on your driving record until the amount of time specified by state law elapses. Check out the table above to see how long that period is in your state.

Regardless of the specifics of your situation, you should consult an attorney who has experience handling DUI cases. They can give you advice and help you mitigate the damage that comes with a DUI.

How does a DUI hurt your car insurance rates?

Our research shows that a DUI can increase insurance rates by 80%. Expect to pay higher insurance rates for three to five years, assuming your driving record stays clean during that time. If you get into an accident or a traffic infraction during those three to five years, your rates may increase exponentially.

Compare quotes to find cheap car insurance after a DUI

How long does a DUI hurt your car insurance rates?

How long a DUI impacts your car insurance rates isn’t always the same as how long a DUI stays on your record. That’s because your insurance record and your driving record aren’t the same thing; just like your driving record and criminal record aren’t the same thing.

Insurers typically look at incidents from the last three to five years when pricing an auto policy. If you have an accident or a violation on your record in the last three to five years, expect to pay more for car insurance. If you have multiple incidents — like accidents, speeding tickets or DUIs — during that period, you’ll probably pay even higher rates.

If three to five years pass without any additional incidents, ask your insurance company to reassess your rates. There's a good chance your rate will go back to normal once that time has passed.

How to check your driving record

Curious if an old infraction is still on your record? Fortunately, it's pretty easy to check your driving record to find out. The exact process varies depending on what state you live in, but here's how to do it in general:

  • Find your state's official department of licensing or department of motor vehicles website. Make sure the website URL ends in .gov.
  • Search the website for a driving record page. Most of these pages have a search function you can use. Check for a “records” or “documents” tab.
  • You'll likely have to pay a small fee — around $10 in most states — to get a copy of your driving record. For example, in Michigan it's $11.

You can get a copy of your driving record in person directly from your local DMV, too. It's also possible that your insurance agent has a copy on file.

Once you have a copy of your driving record, check to make sure all listed dates and incidents are correct. LLC has made every effort to ensure that the information on this site is correct, but we cannot guarantee that it is free of inaccuracies, errors, or omissions. All content and services provided on or through this site are provided "as is" and "as available" for use. LLC makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation of this site or to the information, content, materials, or products included on this site. You expressly agree that your use of this site is at your sole risk.